HBO’s war series ‘Band of Brothers’ revolves around the Easy Company, a group of paratroopers who fought for the Allied forces in the Second World War. The soldiers of “Easy” enter the battlefield after meticulous and extremely severe training sessions, supervised by Lieutenant Herbert Sobel. After their training period, members of Easy put their lives on the line as a band of brothers, united by their motto, “Currahee.” The same word played a significant part in the lives of every Easy soldier in reality as well. But what exactly is the significance of the same? If you are intrigued about the word “Currahee,” let us share everything you need to know about the same!
What is the Meaning of Currahee?
The parent regiment of the Easy Company, the 506th Infantry Regiment, was formed in the wake of the Second World War at Camp Toccoa, Georgia. The military camp was situated near Currahee Mountain and the paratroopers of the Easy Company, trained by Herbert Sobel, were asked to run to the top of the mountain and back as part of the drills, shouting “Three miles up, three miles down.” Along with the drills, the word Currahee became an integral part of the lives of the soldiers of the Easy Company and the 506th Infantry Regiment. The Cherokee word, which translates to “We Stand Alone,” thus became the motto of both the regiment and the company.
“The men were told that Currahee was an Indian word that meant ‘We stand alone,’ which was the way these paratroopers expected to fight. It became the battle cry of the 506th,” Stephen E. Ambrose clarified in his book ‘Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest,’ the source text of the series. “The officers and men ran up and down Currahee three or four times a week. They got so they could do the six-plus-mile round trip in fifty minutes,” the author added.
Conquering Currahee Mountain was a pivotal part of the objectives of the soldiers who joined Easy. Pvt. Ed Tipper said of his first day in Easy, “I looked up at nearby Mount Currahee and told someone, ‘I’ll bet that when we finish the training program here, the last thing they’ll make us do will be to climb to the top of that mountain.’ A few minutes later, someone blew a whistle. We fell in, were ordered to change to boots and athletic trunks, did so, fell in again—and then ran most of the three miles to the top and back down again,” as per Ambrose’s book.
When the soldiers who trained at Camp Toccoa were ready for the Second World War, Colonel Robert Sink inspired them by reminding them about the significance of their motto. “You are a member of one of the finest regiments in the United States Army and consequently in the world. […] “Remember our battle cry and motto, ‘Currahee’, and its meaning: ‘Standing Alone.’ We Stand Alone Together,” he told his soldiers, according to Ambrose’s book. The soldiers of the 506th Infantry Regiment also fought the War with a dark-blue silk regimental flag with Mount Currahee featured in the same.
The word “Currahee” became something that bound the soldiers of the 506th Infantry Regiment together. When Lt. James Morton wrote a scrapbook, he titled the same “Currahee!” The soldiers of the Easy Company fought the Second World War by doing justice to their motto as well.